The European Parliament is relying on the open source enterprise content management system Jahia for the majority of websites on its Intranet and some on the Internet. The CMS is used for the EP's most-used websites, including those for the EP Intranet, EP Committees and the EP internal news.
On 6 February, two staffers working for DG ITEC - the EP's IT department - presented at the Jahia One conference, which took place in Paris, France. "EP staffers increasingly request on-line tools, and we're guiding them towards the use of Jahia", explained Olivier Peltier, leading the team of IT experts dedicated to the content management system.
The EP started with Jahia for the Intranet of the ISP Unit in 2004. It now has in total 89 websites that are built using this open source solution, 82 on the Intranet and 7 on the Internet. The EP has also contributed code to the CMS. "Jahia 5.6 still has code contributed by us for its LDAP connector", said Christophe Debauche, a CMS expert working for the EP.
The EP has also funded the eponymous, Geneva-based software firm that develops the CMS, to build several features, including the creation of web site templates and the implementation of Webdav, allowing users to work together on documents.
To serve its many websites, the EP mixes open source and proprietary IT solutions. The sites are linked to a proprietary directory service and a proprietary database management system. The open source components include the open source Apache Tomcat Java application servers, the Apach Solr search platform, the HornetQ messaging solution.
DG ITEC plans to upgrade to the next version of the Jahia CMS. One of the aims is to make the hosting of web sites more efficient. The EP's back-up policies restrict how many sites can be run per Tomcat host, team leader Peltier explains. "But Jahia 7 will increase back-up options, so we can increase the number of sites per host."
Open source standard
The new version is also going to make creating of new sites and projects effortless, he expects. "We've already organised a few workshops, and shown editors that they can drag and drop modules and templates."
According to Olivier Peltier, the European Parliament's IT department aims to use open source solutions where possible. That has been the policy since 2004, he said. "We prefer talking about open standards, for open source can be misunderstood."